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The Good Sister

3.67  ·  Rating Details ·  4,274 Ratings  ·  307 Reviews
Roxanne Callahan has always been her younger sister's caretaker. Now married, her happiness is threatened when beautiful and emotionally unstable Simone, suffering from crippling postpartum depression, commits an unforgivable crime for which Roxanne comes to believe she is partially responsible.
In the glare of national media attention brought on her sister, Roxanne fights
Paperback, 324 pages
Published October 1st 2010 by Grand Central Publishing (first published January 1st 2010)
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Nov 21, 2010 Nancy rated it really liked it
May 26, 2005. The day I stopped loving Tom Cruise. That is the day he slammed Brooke Shields for publicly announcing her reaction to postpartum depression. She chose medication. Gasp! Since then I've felt nothing but contempt for the man who has never had his body rewired while internal organs are pushed aside and changes in hormonal balance makes you cry because the cat coughed up a hairball.

On this particular day, my own body was waging a war with itself, having pushed a person the size of a
Jun 22, 2012 Louise rated it really liked it
Grand Central Publishing|October 1, 2010|Trade Paperback|ISBN: 978-0-446-53578-6

Story Description:

Nine-year-old Merell knows what she saw in the pool that day. And her call to 911 immediately put her mother, Simone, under suspicion for an unforgivable crime. But as usual, Simone’s older sister, Roxanne, has come to the rescue. In the glare of national media attention she tries to help her vulnerable niece make sense of the family’s tragedy. And while striving to hold her own marriage together, s
Wendy Hines
Jun 01, 2013 Wendy Hines rated it really liked it
The Good Sister opens with Simone Durand on trial for the attempted murder of some of her children. Devastating to think anyone would want to kill their kids, but tragically, it is on the news all too often.

The story then goes back in time to showcase how Simone came to be how she is, and her connection to her sister, Roxanne. Roxanne has always been there to care for Simone, but she feels guilt when she doesn't want to care for her, she wants to have her own life. Roxanne's husband doesn't unde
Nov 01, 2013 Shalini rated it liked it
Shelves: medical, borrowed
This was not an easy read as the book dealt with issues like postpartum depression bordering onto psychosis, neglect of dependent children and an aversion of the female child. The young mother, who is described as a girl in a woman's body is 'forced' to repeatedly bear children, the goal being a male baby in the family. To begin with, she herself is dependent on others, emotionally and physically, to a much greater extent than normal. She was neglected by her mother, overtly protected by her sis ...more
Sep 28, 2016 Jodi rated it it was ok
I realize this is a controversial subject matter, and I understand that and factored it into my thoughts , but I had an extremely hard time getting into this book. The "mother" and I use that term lightly, was a whiney, blame everyone but herself woman from the start. I couldn't stand her character & I certainly didn't feel for the Grandmother or the sister who kept protecting her to save her from punishment for her crimes. I felt myself cringing at the words used, and disgusted that she was ...more
Ruth Turner
Apr 26, 2014 Ruth Turner rated it liked it
Shelves: flawed-families
Held my interest until the trial, when it became a little boring. I skimmed through most of it.

An easy, quick read. I finished it in one sitting.
Rhonda Rae Baker
This was an extremely intense novel that had my attention from the beginning. I totally related to the storyline and understood what was going on. The way Drusilla changed POV (third person) was important and the backstory was woven in beautifully with just the right amount at the right time causing me to read faster and faster.

I'm choked up about it as the subject matter isn't for the faint in heart and it's possible that shallow thinkers or those who haven't been in similar circumstances won't
Mar 30, 2013 Cindy rated it liked it
All in all a good book on many subjects very near and dear to my heart. However, there were three main faults keeping me from rating this book any higher:

1.) I wanted to feel for Simone. Whether by my own choice or by the persuasion of the author, or other outside factors such as reviews, I'm not sure. So I kept trying to like her but I just wasn't convinced. Maybe there is not enough background into Simone's life but ultimately I didn't see her as anything more than a self-loathing, entitled ad
Linda Rowland
Jul 29, 2012 Linda Rowland rated it it was ok
Interesting story and the characters could have been as well if I could keep the men they kept losing straight. Same crazy people reproducing the same crazy situations.
I thought it was a good story badly written. Maybe the confusion was only in my head but it was at the very end that I realized it was the grandmother of Roxanne whose husband left and had another family. Did the rest of the men die?
It seemed that the buildup to the event was the thing and not what actually happened.
I am rambling.
Rachel Wallace
Oct 30, 2016 Rachel Wallace rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4 Stars

The book opens with Simone, a beautiful, over-privileged mom / housewife, on trial for the attempted murder of her children. The story of this horrible turn of events is told in alternating points of view by Simone, her oldest daughter Merrell, Simone's older sister Roxanne and their mother Ellen, with the majority told by Roxanne and Merrell. We follow Roxanne through a rocky childhood, in which she became Simone's protector, caretaker and only friend, forming a very strong yet codepende
Sep 16, 2012 Margaret rated it it was ok
Post-partum depression is an issue that is prevalent in society, but often overlooked as a serious disorder, so I was glad that this book brought to light the real pain and confusion many young mothers feel after the long awaited birth becomes a reality. I just felt like the book missed its opportunity to hit that mark.
The Good Sister was about cycles--mothers who will do anything to keep their husbands happy; mothers who really don't want children and are not equipped to raise them well; eldest
Oct 26, 2011 Holly rated it liked it
Shelves: book-club
Shelley picked this for our book club. I enjoyed it even though it was about a macabre subject – a mother attempting to murder her children! Roxanne is Simone’s big sister, and she has been taking care of her all of her life. Now Simone is married to a chauvinist who married her because she was beautiful, but vulnerable and fragile. He ends up practically abusing her by repeatedly impregnating her, hoping for a boy after 5 girls, even though she’s obviously not capable of taking care of all thos ...more
Oct 20, 2013 Amy rated it liked it
I have to give this book a few stars because I definitely found it interesting, and I really enjoyed getting to know the characters and all their history, but it was really kind of a mess. The writing was sometimes good and sometimes not, often too confusing to follow with all the jumping back and forth between viewpoints and past/present, and I really felt like the author just didn't give enough. There were so many hints or brief allusions to certain parts of each character's story, and I kept ...more
Stella Craine
Sep 23, 2010 Stella Craine rated it it was ok
I decided to read this book because the characters have some parallels to my own disfunctional mother and sister, and I hoped to gain insight within my own family dynamic. So far, the plot is no where near my reality; there's far more drama and dysfunction with lots of promise to be a fantastic, well written tale.

Ok- now that I've finished this book it was kind of blah, but readable. The post-partum behaviors of the sister were more of a side story and lacked depth, the main character (the "good
Mar 14, 2011 Sue rated it it was amazing
A wonderful, multiple-layered book dealing with post-partum depression and mental illness. Fascinating glimpse inside the mind of a mother, who honestly loses all sense of reality, and believes that the "right" thing to do is to save her children by trying to kill them. For so many years I have looked aghast at news articles about monster mothers, who harm their children, and now, thanks to this book I shall have some modicum of understanding of the anguish in their minds. Another valuable lesso ...more
Susan Anders
Jul 29, 2011 Susan Anders rated it liked it
Well-written fiction account of a woman suffering through postpartum depression and how it effects generations of women. As a mother of an infant that was very difficult, I totally understand this temporary and sometimes long-term affliction! When my sister-in-law (mother of 4 boys) called me a few weeks after bringing my second infant home from the hospital and jokingly asked if I was ready to throw her out the window yet, I was so relieved to know that I was not the only one that had that thou ...more
Debbie "DJ"
Mar 14, 2013 Debbie "DJ" rated it really liked it

A very personal account of a woman suffering from postpartum depression, emotional and mental disorders. The story is told mostly from her older sisters point of view, who was abandoned by their mother only to be brought back to help care for this younger sister. The book grabbed me right from the start as it opens with the younger sister on trial for the attempted murder of her children. Her husband knows she is helpless, and needy. This was his main attraction to her as he pays no attention t
Apr 09, 2015 Deanna rated it liked it
I really like this author. I was looking forward to the book and knew it dealt with such tough issues such as post-partum depression and mental illness. With a glimpse inside the mind of a mother, who honestly loses all sense of reality.

I enjoyed the book though I had to pick it up a few times as I had a hard time staying interested. I found at times that it jumped around a bit and some of the characters seemed a bit underwhelming. There were times I couldn't figure out if I was in the past or
Oct 03, 2011 Audra rated it liked it
It was hard to read because I was always wondering when Simone would follow through with killing one of her children. This book was a good read, but it wasn't great. It was almost hard to read because of the post partum depression issues & harming her children. I did appreciate that this book brought to peoples attention that babies DO get/have acid reflux. I almost jumped out of my chair when reading that baby Olivia had acid reflux because it seemed like no one ever thought that acid reflu ...more
Mar 28, 2011 Maegan rated it liked it
Wow. I have a love-hate relationship with this book. I could profoundly relate to so much of Simone's struggle with Post-Partum Depression. It was by no means a feel good read, but a book about how the "sins of the father (or mother)" can so greatly affect our children. I didn't enjoy how the author jumped around in her timeline, and I despised Simone's husband. I felt like Campbell did a great job of describing what it is like to be experiencing severe PPD, and how draining it is for those who ...more
Feb 10, 2011 Mich rated it it was amazing
--- i think its sad many women have suffered from this debilitating disease process for sooo many years and yet it wasnt formally accepted as that until 1994. just liked the story, felt for the mom, the sister AND the daughter(s) in all of their forms.
something just resonated with me
Jun 10, 2012 Lisa rated it really liked it
I think I'd really give this 4.5 stars I loved this book! I found it really engaging from the beginning.
Heather Campbell
Mar 29, 2016 Heather Campbell rated it liked it
Probably more like 3.5 stars. It was good, just not sure it was AS good as some of the others I've read lately.
Susan Seamans
May 07, 2017 Susan Seamans rated it it was amazing
Dec 31, 2016 Jacquie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: get-from-library
Amazing read!! Slightly disturbing content, but a real life struggle for many women, nonetheless. I will be checking out other books by this author.
May 14, 2017 Penny rated it it was amazing
The Good Sister is a beautiful, heartbreaking, unflinching look at just how post-partum depression can progress and how it affects all members of a family. I
Jun 06, 2013 Pam rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Uncertain
Intense but interesting. Postpartum depression with psychosis. Hard subject to read about. Review to follow. Closer to 3 1/2 stars.
Hard to review; suppose to be our book club pick for August but I'm not sure that many will read it or at least finish it, so that may change. Anyone who prefers novels that are light or fun or just entertaining will not like this one's tenseness, but it sure would make for a great discussion if everyone read it.
From the very beginning, we know that Simone is the not
Talia Carner
Aug 14, 2012 Talia Carner rated it really liked it
Dysfunctional families are all different, and the various combinations of mental illness, ineptitude, callousness, cover-up, regret, borderline intelligence and depression can create a vast number of stories. One such gripping story, populated by engaging characters, each carrying his or her own psychological baggage that prevents her from breaking through.

Ellen, Roxanne and Simone’s dysfunctional mother, is somewhat proceeded by a late footnote appearance by her own mother, who comes through in
May 24, 2012 Theresa rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2013
It's refreshing when I feel like an author is writing a book in order to explore characters or to express herself, or for some other reason than to make a point. It seems that there are plenty of writers who use fiction to mask whatever conviction they are trying to share with the reader.

I thought all of the characters in this novel were treated with love. Even characters I wanted to dislike(and did, in fact dislike), I could understand, at least somewhat, and identify with them. They made sens
Feb 22, 2017 Susie rated it it was amazing
The day I stopped loving Tom Cruise. That is the day he slammed Brooke Shields for publicly announcing her reaction to postpartum depression. She chose medication. Gasp! Since then I've felt nothing but contempt for the man who has never had his body rewired while internal organs are pushed aside and changes in hormonal balance makes you cry because the cat coughed up a hairball.
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Drusilla Campbell lives in San Diego with her husband, the lawyer-poet-professor, Art Campbell, two rescued dogs and four horses. She was born in Melbourne, Australia and came to California when she was six years old. Before that she criss-crossed the United States by train and car with her brave and resourceful mother and mostly adorable baby brother. She had sailed the Pacific Ocean three times ...more
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